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Denotation vs. Connotation

bobtail

[bob-teyl] /ˈbɒbˌteɪl/
noun
1.
a short or docked tail.
2.
an animal with such a tail.
adjective
3.
Also, bobtailed. having a bobtail.
4.
cut short; docked; cropped.
5.
shorter or briefer than usual; abbreviated:
Several legislative items must be dropped from the current bobtail session of Congress.
verb (used with object)
6.
to cut short the tail of; dock, often by cutting a muscle in a horse's tail to make it stand erect.
Origin of bobtail
1535-1545
1535-45; bob2 + tail1
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for bobtail
Historical Examples
  • An elegant dejeune was given to the happy couple by his Excellency Lord bobtail, who gave away the bride.

    Memoirs of Mr. Charles J. Yellowplush William Makepeace Thackeray
  • He asked a thousand questions which bobtail could not answer, and a thousand more which he did answer.

    Little Bobtail Oliver Optic
  • After breakfast, bobtail went up to the hotel, where his passengers lodged.

    Little Bobtail Oliver Optic
  • Then bobtail said he had a letter for you, and I told him to put it on your desk.

    Little Bobtail Oliver Optic
  • He improved the opportunity while bobtail and his mother were absent in searching for the contraband merchandise.

    Little Bobtail Oliver Optic
  • "I saw him up in town this morning, but he didn't say anything about her," answered bobtail.

    Little Bobtail Oliver Optic
  • "I guess not;" and bobtail blushed at the presumptuous idea.

    Little Bobtail Oliver Optic
  • "I don't say there was or was not any cargo in her," replied bobtail.

    Little Bobtail Oliver Optic
  • bobtail distinctly heard a shout from her, though she was a mile distant.

    Little Bobtail Oliver Optic
  • "It don't make any difference to me whether they believe it or not," replied bobtail.

    Little Bobtail Oliver Optic
British Dictionary definitions for bobtail

bobtail

/ˈbɒbˌteɪl/
noun
1.
a docked or diminutive tail
2.
an animal with such a tail
adjective
3.
having the tail cut short
verb (transitive)
4.
to dock the tail of
5.
to cut short; curtail
Word Origin
C16: from bob² + tail1
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Slang definitions & phrases for bobtail

bobtail

noun

  1. A dishonorable discharge •So called because the phrase ''service honorable and faithful'' was deleted from the discharge form (1870s+ Army)
  2. A truck tractor without a semitrailer (1940s+ Truckers) v:Returningwithjustthetractor(bobtailing)represented a loss

[noun sense 2 considers the semitrailer the tail of the rig]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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